Re-evaluating Heat Transfers: New Innovations Upping the Game
Pulling inspiration from across industries, heat transfer suppliers are introducing new materials, methods and hand-feels to a sector on the cusp of change.
Until recently, transfers have too often been a secondary consideration when it comes to considering innovation. An area that comes as a final step, heat transfers have been witness to tried and tested methods used on repeat. From the increase in footfall at trade shows like Performance Days and ISPO it's been clear for us to observe that this is about to change. A sharp uptick in the interest in transfers among LTP’s localized suppliers has seen Laurema, 3T and Heat Transfer and J-LONG companies (right sequence) among others, winning numerous awards across recent seasons.
Progressive innovation and sustainable solutions are entering the market space, including everything from recycled paper cups to natural dyes and scented elements. In recent months, we’ve been pulling together some innovations from our upcoming trim solution optimization Innovation Book. Ahead of its release we’ve highlighted below some of the leading areas of innovation amongst LTP’s gold-standard suppliers. Also featured in our 360° Innovation Book. Laura Didziokiene, Fabric sourcing and Innovation manager at LTP Garment states
“We choose to work with these transfer suppliers for their knowledge and ease, tested 1000s of times we know what to expect, which in turn provides a smoother way of working that's not only cost effective, but energy saving too. Having worked with big names across both sportswear and fashion, these suppliers have a key understanding of what's required across markets.”
With fabrics having touted the benefits of plant based dyes for years, it’s notable to see that other garment components are emerging with innovations in the area. Beyond plant dyes, we’re seeing eco additives and an increase in natural fibers gaining presence in heat transfers.
One of our leading partner printing houses Laurema, in Lithuania, have recently won the F/W 21/22 ISPO award for Trims. Adding eco components to their water based dyes, they are creating naturally derived tones using everything from Turmeric, to Beetroot, Chocolate and Curry. Despite the scalability and speed issues often surrounding natural dyes, these heat transfers have a lead time of just 3-7 days and offer outstanding durability and longevity.
In addition to this, Laurema are also priding themselves of their use of green energy in production, their water consumption regulation systems, and their OEKO-TEX certifications. In a step towards closing the loop, they’re even using production waste to create future products.
Elsewhere, our supplier 3T has been innovating around renewable and plant based materials. Winning the ISPO S/S 24 accelerated eco award for their Bio Born transfers. At 80% plant based, the transfers retain the same level of quality and performance as non-renewable polymer transfers, upping the bar on sustainability while cutting down on CO2 emissions in the process. The supplier has also created their Cotton Fibre Fill for a more 3D effect, made from 20% organic cotton.
Recycled materials have been a key area of innovation, particularly when it comes to synthetics. However recent seasons have seen our suppliers look beyond the norm, opting to repurpose everything from coffee grounds, to cups and carbon.
Continuing on Laurema’s theme of food as an ingredient, Lithuania based Heat Transfers Company are making strides with incorporating alternative materials. Using recycled post-consumer coffee grounds in their transfers, they have created options that utilize coffee’s natural color, and take on the aroma of it when the body warms.
The supplier is also incorporating recycled paper, derived from disposable coffee cups, collected in partnership with Ukrainian company 7Gram. In each heat transfer up to 40% recycled paper is used, blended to result in a transfer that's durable, soft and elastic.
A topic we covered previously, and one growing in prominence in everything from printing to composition, carbon is making its way into heat transfers. Our Hong Kong based supplier, J-Long is not only working on developing a mono-composition transfers that could be recycled together with the fabrics, but also have been utilising it as an ingredient, allowing them to replace up to 20% of fossil feedstocks with carbon based alternatives, with no detrimental effect on their TPU patches and transfers.
Finally, we also want to highlight how comfort is becoming a growing factor for the trims market, with next-to-skin softness an increasing priority for heat transfers. Laurema has been working on creating softness and flexibility that counteracts the scratchy feeling of regular neck and care labels. Being UV stable, wash resistant and printable, the label can even be recycled if the wearer chooses to remove it. Similarly 3T can also offer some alternatives in this direction from their high expertise in lingerie garments.
Italian based Framis working on creating shifting holographic effects. Achieving metallic looks and high shine, without the use of metals, Framis is achieving a level of opulence with their holographic transfers, produced through their facility in Hong Kong, the transfers offer a retro feel through the fluid pastel tones while staying Oeko-tex and Bluesign Certified. Similarly other transfer suppliers, as we can see at newest 3T collections, are able to create a softer option with added flexibility in their Mirror Transfers. The reflective direction is increasing in most of the leading transfer suppliers’ collections, so please follow LTP for updates on Innovations.
How to get your copy of LTP’s Latest Innovation book
IB.05 showcases the latest innovations in textiles, trims and technologies. To get your hands on a copy of the latest Innovation book, all existing customers should contact New Bizz department, Jurgita.
The 360° Innovation book has become a place for suppliers to introduce their latest “super materials” and pioneering developments. If you’re an innovative supplier and wish to be featured in the next edition, please contact New Bizz.
This resource is created as part of the companies Value Added Services which are strategically developed to provide brands with the tools to drive new and exciting innovations. This suite includes:
Sustainability Solutions Accelerator
Product Design & Development, Creation and Innovation
Seasonal Trend Analysis for the Sport & Outdoor Industry
The Sport & Outdoor Apparel Network
For more information please feel free to contact New Bizz at the LTP Group [firstname.lastname@example.org].
LTP is a Danish owned garment manufacturer for +60 premium brands within active sportswear, cycling, outdoor, urban performance, performance running and sustainable fashion. LTP was established in 1991, and is one of the largest Sport & Outdoor garment manufacturer in Europe with bluesign setups in Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and Vietnam
LTP consists of two divisions; LTP Garment and LTP Furniture producing in twelve fully-owned factories.